NEW YORK, August 18, 2021 — Downtown Music Holdings (Downtown℠) announced today that its founder and current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Justin Kalifowitz will take on a new position as Executive Chairman and current Chief Operating Officer (COO) Andrew Bergman will assume day-to-day responsibilities as the company’s CEO, effective September 1.
Kalifowitz, who has served as CEO since establishing the company more than 14 years ago, will continue to focus on driving strategic development, leading Downtown’s Board of Directors and working together with Bergman and the executive team on transformational growth opportunities for the company.
“Downtown has always set ambitious goals both internally and with respect to our role in driving equity and innovation across the music industry. As we continue to expand our market position by empowering entrepreneurial creators and their partners, Andrew’s unrivaled knowledge of the business coupled with his operational excellence make him the perfect choice as our next CEO,” said Justin Kalifowitz. “With Andrew managing day-to-day operations for Downtown, I'm looking forward to continuing to work closely together in advancing the organization's strategic development at an accelerated pace.”
Bergman added, “I feel very fortunate to continue my 14 year collaboration with Justin in my new role as CEO and I am excited about what we will accomplish together in Downtown’s next growth stage. With an exceptional team, global operations, industry leading technology and substantial capital resources, Downtown is well positioned to continue expanding our role as the leading service provider to the global music industry,”
Bergman’s history with Downtown extends back to the company’s inception when he served as outside legal counsel. In 2008, Bergman formally joined Downtown as General Counsel and Executive Vice President, prior to his promotion to COO in 2014. Most recently, Bergman has architected Downtown’s M&A integrations and operations spanning more than 500 employees on six continents.
Originally established by Kalifowitz as Downtown Music Publishing in 2007, Kalifowitz and Bergman have since transformed Downtown into the world’s leading service provider to the global music industry. With a strong foundation centered around service, Downtown provides solutions for creators and businesses at all stages including distribution, rights management, royalty collection, creative marketing and promotional services. As creators of all types increasingly look to maintain ownership of their music IP, Downtown’s size, scale and business model uniquely enable clients to retain their rights for the long term while enjoying the operational benefits historically associated with traditional music companies.
Today, Downtown manages more than 23 million music assets on behalf of over 1 million artists and enterprise clients hailing from 145 countries from a catalog that spans 100 years of popular music, including music for film and television, and the single largest independent sound recording catalog in the industry. The company’s diverse client base features some of the biggest brands in music and entertainment, including iconic songwriters, composers and recording artists, major film and television production studios, gaming companies, the world’s largest music companies, music asset owners and other music service providers.
Downtown’s focus on services is leading the transformation of the global music industry, which has seen a rapid adoption of streaming services by consumers, and a significant increase in the volume and diversity of content released by creators of all kinds. Independent artists now represent 31% of total streams on Spotify, according to MIDiA, and, based on an analysis conducted by former Spotify Chief Economist Will Page, independents out-released major labels during 2020 at a ratio of 8 to 1. With over 70 million tracks spanning 5,000 genres in the world, not only is the quantity of music being released by independents dramatically increasing, but its quality is being noted at the highest levels—at the 2021 GRAMMY® Awards, 52% of all winners were independent artists.